Wednesday, July 31, 2013

our children will not forget the words of their parents

Each night after Judah is freshly bathed, smelling like sweet lavender and cuddled up close for some bedtime stories I like to talk to him about all the wonderful things we did for the day. I ask him "Judah do you remember who we played with today","Do you remember those trucks on our run" or "remember how we picked out those books at the library". I like to recall all the good things that happened throughout our day. I feel that this is my way of bonding and affirming that mommy and daddy want good for him. That we want him to be happy and yet we will discipline him if he does something that he shouldn't be doing. Like throwing dirt in the sky to make dust clouds or running away from me in the parking lot.

Today I received another batch of texts from my birth mother. She tends to text me every other month. This time it was to tell me that she never loved her children and that she doesn't care that she abandoned us when we were so young. Even though this is what is to be expected from my volatile mother it still stung my heart. Especially since I just spent an hour on the phone with her this week talking her out of self injury again. Growing up with I was used to being told daily by my birth mother what I did wrong and how she hurt herself because of her children. I still have it burned in my head the image of my drunken mother who OD'd on her medication screaming at me in the emergency room "I do this because of you! I hate you!". Children will not forget the words of their parents.

That is why I daily remind Judah of good things. I remind him over and over again how much I love him and that he is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am doing what the Lord does for us. The Lord he does not retain His anger forever because He delights in unchanging love, He will again have compassion on us (Micah 7:18-19).  He has us recall the former good things he has done for us (Isaiah 46:9). He will quiet you with His love (Zephaniah 3:17) He will not forget us, He has inscribed us on the palms of His hands and we are always before Him (Isaiah 49:14) we are the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8). All over scripture the Lord continually reminds us of how faithful He is, how much He loves us, how He will fight for us and how He will save us. Yes in my shame I put Jesus on that cross, but His death takes away my shame forever. 

In being parents we are to die to self, to give unconditionally and to discipline in love. 

After receiving the text bombs from my mother I drove Judah out to the library to check out some new books. On the way home our tradition is to stop by Starbucks to read a book together while we sit on the couches. While I was parking Judah started singing in my backseat "bless The Lord oh my soul ohhhh my soul" and I turn around to look at him he says "mama I love that song, bless The Lord oh my soul!!"

Then I started crying. The Lord knew I needed to hear Judah sing this. He was reminding me of His great love for both my son and myself. In that moment I completely forgot the words of my mother and I was able to embrace the love that was being poured out into my heart. 

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

embracing joy

I've always wondered why certain people are just filled with joy. You know the type of person who you just want to sit in their presence and drink up the joy that exudes from their heart. I've always wondered what is their secret is and how do I acquire this spirit of joy. Years I've tried to hold onto this counterfeit joy. Its a fleeting joy that I pretend my heart is full of and that I don't struggle with hurts or failures. But pretending that I have joy will only get me so far. Until something really hurts me and I find myself grasping for joy like a toddler chasing after a balloon he accidentally let go of.

Judah has recently started to tell me throughout the day "mommy, I'm happy, I'm a happy boy". He would say this to me in his sweet toddler voice and since he is my son I would stop and actually listen to him. Not only would I listen but I would try to see what is making him so happy, because like any mother I want to recreate what ever is giving my boy joy. Like when we would go on walks and he would look up and say "mama the sun is out, the sun makes me happy".  Or the other day I watched Judah get out of the car after an exhausting trip to the post office. He didn't mind the blistering heat that was making us rush to get indoors to cool off. He had a sweet round face full of joy as ran to the sidewalk and placed the truck he had clenched in his tiny hand onto the cement and drove it up to our porch. He was only focused on what was bringing him joy. 

Judah is teaching me that sometimes I just rush past joy. That I am longing to "experience" life so badly that I sometimes forget to stop and enjoy life. I believe Judah doesn't have to search for joy because he is not focused on all the worries of this world. He is focused on the sun shining down on this face, the truck in his tiny hands and he has no worries what so ever. 

A main reason why its so hard for me to embrace joy is because I feel like I am always working on trying to win the Lords approval or the approval of others. I always feel that I am just "not good enough". As I am reflecting on my never ending need for joy and my continual judgement of self I came across this verse that I highlighted in my bible years ago. 

Micah 7:18 
he delights in unchanging love

The Lord delights in his unchanging love. His unchanging love for me. If I cease to worry about things he has cast into the depths of the sea. If instead I embrace joy, see this world through my child's eyes, encourage those around me and spread as much love as I can. Then the uncertainty of feeling not good enough ceases to exist and I find myself increasingly savoring the joy of being more than good enough. I'm no longer rushing past joy, Im embracing it. 

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

closing the shop to encourage others with my extra yarn

A few weeks ago I checked out this children's book "Extra Yarn". Its all about a girl who finds a box of extra yarn that never runs out. Instead of knitting things for profit or even selling the box of unending yarn for ten million dollars, she knits to encourage people. She knits to make this world a beautiful and more colorful place. Night after night I would read this book to Judah and he would point to the little girl with the heart as big as her bottomless box of yarn and say "that's mommy!". My eyes would well up and I would choke out the last sentences of the book until I tucked him in. Judah's innocent words really struck a chord in my heart and I started thinking that I wanted to do what that girl is doing. I want to encourage people with things I crochet with yarn. The thought of closing down my shop for the soul purpose of encouraging others has been tugging at my heart for weeks. 

Starting on Thursday July 25th I am closing down my shop for a month. During this time I am going to  crochet banners, hats, cowls and rings to give away to people. I'll be posting many of these giveaways on IG or my Facebook page

I believe we all have enough love and encouragement to go around, all we have to do is take that step out of our comfort zone and share it. I think we would be surprised at how much a tiny act or word of encouragement can change the world. 

I will be offering 20% off whatever is currently listed in my shop until I close on Thursday. Please use the code: encouragement 

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

watermelon slushy and tiny umbrellas

I've been melting with jealousy over everyone posting pictures of their mouth watering slushy drinks. We don't have a slushy stand or shop anywhere in the Northern Virginia area. Believe me I've been scouring the web and asking everyone I know! Today when the temps hit near 100 I decided to take matters into my own hands and make Judah and I watermelon slushy drinks with cute tiny umbrellas. This project is ridiculously easy. 

{Watermelon Slushy}
*frozen cubed seedless watermelon
*ginger ale

Put the frozen watermelon with a cup full of ginger ale into the food processor. Blend until slushy. Its really that easy. 

{Mini Umbrella} 
*tooth picks
*Elmer's glue
*white construction paper
*paint/crayon/markers (what ever you want to use to decorate)
*two circles to trace. I used a mason jar lid and the inside of a tape roll

Trace out both circles on the construction paper. I had Judah decorate with the paint sticks. Once decorated cut out both circles. With the larger circle your going to fold the paper several times to make ridges (picture above). Once folded cut out one of the triangle slices from the ridge. Overlap the two sections on the larger circle and glue. Stick the toothpick through the smaller circle. Glue the sides of the smaller circle and place inside the umbrella for support. Make sure the top of the toothpick sticks through the top of the large circle like an umbrella. Let it dry and stick into your fancy summer drink. 

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

when running out of toilet paper inspires you

A few weeks ago my husbands job held their annual family work day. I wasn't able to bring in my camera or phone so we don't have pictures to document one of the best days of Judah's life. Besides riding a pony for the first time, Judah was able to build a mini rocket and see it launch into the air. Every since Judah has asked me several times a day for me to go out and buy him a rocket. He is 2.5 years old and I am not about to buy him a rocket. When ever he asks me these boyish adventurous requests I always hear "you'll shoot your eye out" in the back of my head. Today as I was trying to get a little privacy while Judah was pounding on the bathroom door I was inspired by my empty toilet paper roll. Why don't I just build Judah a rocket with what I have lying around the house. 

This is how we built a safe toddler rocket after nap time.

What you need
*toilet paper roll (not pictured)
*hot glue gun or Elmer's glue (the hot glue gun worked better and dried faster)
*paint markers (or any type of crayon/paint/marker)
*black and white construction paper
*yellow and orange ribbon

While I was cutting out the circle out for the cone of the rocket I gave Judah the white paper to decorate for the siding. When he was finished I hot glued the siding then the cone onto the rocket. I turned the rocket upside down and glued on the yellow and orange ribbons for the rocket flames. This project took me 15 mins to make and Judah has not put down the rockets. He keeps throwing them up in the air and running around the house with them pretending they are flying into space. 

This is a great project to do at home, especially when the temps start to soar into the upper 90s and now I don't have to worry about him poking his eye out with a sharp metal object.

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